Review: Films Set In Japan – ‘Walk, Don’t Run’ (1966)

Set during the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 this was Cary Grant’s final film appearance and it sees him arrive in the Japanese capital on business but he is unable get any accommodation. Whilst at the British Embassy he sees an advert for an apartment which he soon fast-talks his way into sharing with Samantha Eggar. After a couple of days he then decides to sub-let his half of the place to a member of the USA Olympic team and then he tries to play cupid.

I picked up this film for a few quid whilst I was back in Britain over the Christmas period and finally got round to viewing it recently. The reason I watch all the films featured in the ‘set in Japan’ category on this blog is for the locations. Asakusa senso-ji temple is at the start of the film just to set the scene and once it gets underway we see the British Embassy, Yoyogi stadium, the outside and lobby of Hotel Okura and the streets of Toranomon. The film offers a rare glimpse of life in 1960’s Tokyo which I’ve heard just doesn’t really exist anymore.

Its a light, romantic comedy where the plot flows along gently with, in my opinion, the best scenes being when its just Grant and Eggar working their way round the absurd bathroom schedule. Grant provides further comedic timing when distracting Eggar’s fiancee on a boat trip as he tries to provide matchmaker. After that I feel it gets a bit silly and its maybe no surprise that Grant decided to call it a day at the end of this!

‘Walk, Don’t Run’ was perhaps one of the first true Hollywood films to be made in Japan and inevitably shows the usual exaggerated scenes of bowing and disgust at the thought of eating raw octopus which have popped up time and time again through international films set in the land of the rising sun. Overall, its a nice, little movie to fill a couple of hours when but walk, don’t run to see it!

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